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Sunday, September 27, 2020
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Reader’s comment: A textbook error

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In response to Nick Booth: Poser Nostra and the great charity shakedown, RationalSpeculation wrote:

I think we really ought to thank Oxfam for such a textbook example of Lefty moral error. As far as I understand it, the reason these things were swept under the carpet is that the charity was concerned it would reduce donations. Because they were so certain of their own virtue, their own good intentions and the success of their projects, that could not be allowed to happen, so everyone ‘forgot’ all about the problem. The end justified the means and the greatest happiness of the greatest number outweighed what happened to the girls in question.

How often do we see this, a Left-winger or progressive institution being forgiven serious lapses because their heart is in the right place, and it’s more important that they carry on doing the good they do? Why does the Right not work in the same way? Is it because we tend to view human beings as inherently morally flawed, so we have no overwhelming conception of our own virtue? Is it because we see good as an ongoing process, always at risk of being lost, so that it cannot just be posited at the start and taken as read?

Surely we should be following Alinsky’s ideas and holding the Left to their own standards. An organisation which allows its employees to use child prostitutes with little sanction is not a moral exemplar. A married man who leaves a job due to allegation of sexual misconduct (a behaviour which he seems to have repeated in another country) is in no place to lecture others on virtue. An organisation which ignores a paedophile in its ranks is not one of the great glories of civilisation.

These people have no claim to moral superiority, and should not be allowed to assume it. At the very least, public life will become less sanctimonious.

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